The number one mistake women make when considering a career change: Jessy’s story

Jessy could have started the career of her dreams years ago. Not that she disliked her job as a math teacher. In fact, teaching ultimately helped her discover her true passion – technology.

After graduating college with a B.A. in Psychology, Jessy knew she wanted to do something a little different than following the traditional path of becoming a psychologist. She wanted to make an impact, which is what led her to education. “As education became more technology-focused, I became more interested in the technology itself than being an educator,” she said. Read More

The teacher becomes the student: Erik’s story

“I was trying to teach myself to code to make my life easier.”

Now a full-time web developer with Practice, Erik was first drawn to coding with the hope of gaining the knowledge he needed to build an application for his business. “I was a martial arts instructor full-time for the past 10 years or so of my life,” he said. “There was no web application or anything that did what I needed it to. I was spending two to three hours a day doing paperwork.” Read More

From A/V technician to software engineer: Jordan’s story

Jordan Anderson was doing well in his career as an audio-visual technician. He was at the precipice of entering a new position and learning new skills, but there was one big problem: he knew it wasn’t what he was supposed to do. At a Thanksgiving potluck, a friend brought up The Iron Yard. Having dabbled in some code before, Jordan chewed on the idea for a while and began asking for feedback from his family and friends who were already working as programmers. Read More

From Rocket Science to Rocking Code: Leslie’s story

Leslie Brown grew up in Orlando with a grandfather who worked at the Kennedy Space Center as a mechanical and systems engineer. As a kid, she often watched shuttles as they launched into space from Cape Canaveral. Excited and inspired by space travel, she ended up studying aerospace engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After graduating, she worked as a systems engineer for a defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, where she first started learning some code. Read More

Helping kids learn programming for Hour of Code

One of the most rewarding parts of what we do at The Iron Yard is hosting kids coding classes. Our instructors volunteer their time on a regular basis to make sure kids in every community where we operate have a chance to be exposed to what it’s like to code. Plus, our kids coding classes usually feature fun topics like how to build games or recreate popular characters characters.

Teaching kids is something we’ve done since we launched, and it’s remained a big part of our DNA. Our CEO Peter Barth put it this way:

We believe in investing in the local tech economy for the long run, and that means impacting the next generation. Hosting these events is a great way to help kids take their first step down a path that could unlock a passion for technology.

We’re so passionate about exposing kids to technology and coding that we are hosting free kids coding events at every one of our locations during the week of Dec. 7-13 for the global “Hour of Code” effort created by Code.org. The goal of the effort is to introduce students to computer science – even one hour of learning to code might be the start of something great! Last year, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign. Pretty cool. Read More

Social media, networking help locals beat trap of under-employment →

When Red Lobster cut some servers’ hours to less than 20 a week, Melissa Malpica tried to get by. But with a base pay of $5.03 an hour, plus tips, she found it tough.

“It was late nights, unpredictable hours and less pay. It wasn’t a passion of mine. I decided to make a change because I wanted to start a family,” said Malpica, 33.

Malpica’s solution was to learn new skills. She signed up for a three-month computer coding program at downtown Orlando’s Iron Yard.

Click here to continue reading on the Orlando Sentinel.

Orlando Tech Association will sponsor our fall cohort in Orlando

Our Orlando campus launched its first cohort just over a year ago. Since then, we’ve graduated nearly 50 people and developed deep relationships with the local tech community.

Today, one of our local partners announced some really exciting news. Orlando Tech Association will sponsor our fourth cohort in Orlando, which begins class Oct. 5. They will take an active role in adding to our student experience by providing speakers, special events, resources and support during the cohort, which runs until Jan. 8. Read More